Part A: the effect of the dimensions of learning model on the epistemological beliefs of students enrolled in general chemistry laboratory for post-baccalaureate pre-medical students and : part B: environmental quality survey utilizing TRI explorer and USGS water data and the analysis and characterization of particulate matter using scanning electron microsopy /

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Wallace, Darcie
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Middle Tennessee State University
The first part of this dissertation deals with the dimension of learning model was developed by Robert Marzano in response to a comprehensive research and theory based framework on cognition and learning. The strategy forms a background that can be used in instruction, curriculum, and assessment. The experimental group was exposed to the model and the control group was exposed to normal instruction for three lab activities in a summer general chemistry laboratory. The students were assessed for content knowledge via review of pre-laboratory and post-laboratory questions and for attitudinal changes via the Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Science Students. The study indicates that there were no attitudinal changes between the two groups. On the other hand, the instructional model is a variable technique, and the experimental group performed better on the post laboratory questions.
The second part of this dissertation presents the results of an environmental quality survey utilizing the Environmental Protection Agency's TRI Explorer database as well as the United States Geological Survey water quality database could provide a valuable tool for the assessment of land, air, and water contamination. The top three air, water, and land releases will be obtained from 1988 to 2002 for counties surrounding major cities in Tennessee. There was found to be a poor correlation between the TRI Explorer and USGS data for the counties in this study. This poor correlation may be due to the degradation pathways of the chemicals released. It should be noted that there has been a decrease in many of the compounds, such as chlorofluorocarbons, which have been addressed in legislation.
Air samples were collected on mixed cellulose ester filters and silver membrane using a GS Cyclone particle size selector and analyzed using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis. Unlike quartz filters, sample loss and change was minimal with the use of the mixed cellulose ester filters and silver membranes. Residential air samples collected on mixed cellulose ester filters have indicated the presence of aluminum, silicon, carbon, and oxygen. All particles are cylindrical in shape and are less than 10 mum in aerodynamic diameter. Samples collected in heavily automobile congested areas are spherical and carbonaceous with a high carbon to oxygen ration.
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